Last night (2/5/2016) I attended your show here in Atlanta, GA. It was one of the single most amazing and inspiring evenings I have ever seen. You may remember me. I’m the guy that yelled for “Oh Camil” to which you replied, “You have no idea how close I am to playing that fucking song right now but I can’t remember it.” Yeah, that was me. Anyway, it was an absolutely magical evening of music and it totally moved me beyond words. Thank you so much for bringing such an intimate, heartfelt show to Atlanta. I wish my dad would’ve been alive to see it which leads to why I am writing this open letter to you.
Right after you came on for your encore last night, I ran out to my car, grabbed my dad’s copy of Wild Tales and my silver sharpie and waited by your tour bus. I really didn’t care so much about getting the album signed as much as I did about hoping to tell you all the things that I have wanted to tell you for many, many years. I know you’re a busy guy and sometimes fans can be overbearing so I didn’t blame you at all for rushing by me to get on your tour bus. You were gracious and acknowledged my presence saying, “Thank you for coming. I’ll sign that for you” as you entered the bus. You graciously signed my album and had it brought back out to me. Well, unlike many fans, your autograph meant less to me than the time I would have loved to tell you just how much your music has meant to me in my life. Again, I understand why I didn’t get that time but I can only hope you will read this.
As a young child in the 70’s, I can vividly remember my dad playing the debut CSN album, and your albums Wild Tales and Songs for Beginners. My dad always said that Crosby and Nash were the true artists of the band and that the other two were buffoons but that’s a whole other story. Over the years in our turbulent relationship, we would always find our way back to each other and bond over our love for CSN. In 1995, I even started playing folk music because of the impact of rediscovering those magical albums that you were a huge part of. To this day, I still play folk rock music and hold you (and Crosby) as two of my biggest inspirations.
My father passed away back in 2012. He and I didn’t have the greatest of relationship through the years but what we did have in common was our love for the music you made. After he passed, I remember playing my CSN playlist one evening and “Wasted on the Way” came on. I immediately broke down in tears because this song pretty much personified our relationship to a “t.” Before he died, we made our peace and discovered that we had such a level of love and respect for each other but just didn’t know how to say it. There was a lot of time and love wasted on the way but it all became water beneath the bridge and we found each other.
Graham, I can only hope you will read this and know that your music has, and always will be, a huge part of my life. I am so happy that I finally had the opportunity to see you solo and again, last night was purely magical and inspirational. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the stories, the laughter and the tears that you brought me last night. It was a night I will never forget and I only wish that my dad could’ve been here to see it with me. As a matter of fact, maybe he was.
All the best,
Don de Leaumont, Jr.